(Tinnitus) Accepting and Forgiving?

Discussion in 'Support' started by MattMSP, Nov 23, 2014.

    1. MattMSP

      MattMSP Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      This is my first post on the forum after lurking for quite awhile.

      I'm having a hard time forgiving myself for noise induced tinnitus. I've always been very cautious about my ears - wearing earplugs to concerts, movies, mowing the lawn, and even vacuuming. A month ago I went to the shooting range and thought that I had proper hearing protection on, but my tinnitus is now much louder. Perhaps it is a spike but as time passes I'm less hopeful.

      I am angry at myself for going to the range (something I had done before) and ruining my body in a way that at this time has no cure. I haven't been sleeping and have had dark thoughts. The worsening of tinnitus has given me the worst depression and anxiety that I have ever experienced but am afraid to take any SSRI pills for fear of making it worse. I realize accidents happen, but it isn't making things any easier for me :( It is a vicious cycle as I tend to fixate on things

      In Summary, how have you been able to "forgive" yourself?
    2. RicoS

      RicoS Member Benefactor

      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Stress or Acoustic trauma
      There is nothing to forgive.... you have it and you need to deal with it. If you look in the past there will be a lot of things you wish you did not do, but reality is now.... you have it ...nothing can change that for the moment.
      What you are doing now is dwelling on it... and rethink everything why you have it. I did that too, but I realised it just did not matter. Live in the now , not in the past.
      Look forward and try to make the most of it. You have T .....so have a lot of us. We hate it ..... but reality is....you have it. Forgiving yourself is not an option because it does not cure T.
      If you have forgave yourself T will still be there. Accept the now and try to think positive about the things you still can do. We have our good and bad moments.... the last 3 days were not so good regarding T , but I keep on going .....
      My T was activated or by stress (to hard work and long days ....didn't got nothing in return .... now stuck with T) oooooooooooooor because I opened a fu$%@#$ing can of Coca Cola in the car and the thing you use your nail to open it (don't know the english word) slipt under my nail and touch the can of Coca Cola which made an extreme loud noise through the car and closed my ears completly ....very scary feeling..... 4 days later.... T was there. What if I did not open that can of Coca Cola????? Perhaps I would not have T.....what if.... what if..... I dwelled on it for months.....
      So lets say ...if I did not open the can of cola I did not have T. ....... Now what?
      I still got T ........
      What if I didn't put so much work in for my boss....perhaps I did not have T.
      But.... I still got T..... Should I forgive my self for enjoying a can of cola or forgive myself for working hard and did not get a raise in 6 years ........ I did it all not knowing it could induce T..... so there is nothing to forgive.
      If you put earprotection in and your T is suddenly louder than you did what you thought was right.
      If you go to a shootingrange and did not use earplugs and you know your T might be effected by it....it's a stupid action....but still, forgiving yourself does not cure T.
      And we all know we cannot forgive ourself for an action that has so much impact on our life...so why dwell on it.
      Try things that relax you that might lower your T sooner than to dwell on the fact why it perhaps became worse.
      I hope the best for you...but do not blame yourself to much......;)
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    3. kmohoruk

      kmohoruk Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud Noise, Ear Infection, TMJ
      Hello @MattMSP ,

      I saw your post on here and felt that I should really chime in here and share my story because our scenarios with T are very similar.

      Heres my story:

      I've had Tinnitus for almost a decade (hissing in both ears) and was totally fine with it after the initial emotion of realizing that this condition that I have wasn't normal (I thought everyone had ringing in their ears and it wasn't until someone pointed it out where I then realized that this condition wasn't normal)

      I was fine until this past summer where just like you, I went out shooting with a female friend (who I had a bit of a thing for) who insisted that wearing shooters ear plugs was enough protection. I had always been very carful with my ears just like you, but in that one moment - I put my trust in someone else and paid a price for it.

      After the incident and when I went to bed that night, I noticed that it sounded like my T was louder. After that I became very depressed, sad, angry etc.... Asking questions like how could I let myself do that, not listen to myself and instead listen to her and her terribly over "manly" father (Who famously said, "I don't keep those wussy ear muffs in the house") etc....

      I ended up having to leave my summer job and return home to my parents house to try and recover. During that time I also developed Hyperacusis (Sound sensitivity. Mine is with sounds of higher frequencies), and had another set back due to a car horn in the early fall which introduced a new ringing sound to my normally hissing tinnitus. I tried going back to school but couldn't, so I am now recovering back at home.

      Now the positive part :)

      Once I got back to my house, I would have many "bad ear days" and very few good ones. The thoughts of the future really scared me.

      But once I started to calm down and look at my life and realize that I'm still very lucky to have a wonderful girl friend, friends and an awesome family who have been supporting me through all this. Once I started finding these positives it allowed me to relax a bit - to the point where it seems that my hyperacusis has let up a bit, and high frequencies started to bother me a little less.

      I remember hearing a good quote that @Dr. Nagler said on this form that really started to help me let go of some of these feelings. It essentially said (I am paraphrasing here, so I apologize if its a little off)

      "We can spend all the time in the world trying to figure out what caused/made our T worse, but at the end of the day it really isn't that productive."

      Once I read that, I realized that he was right and I started to try and get back out in the world a bit. I never really use ear plugs in real life situations (Unless the situation requires it). I try to re enforce my mind with positive feedback (cognitive therapy) and try and get my mind out of the " How could I let this happen to myself ", and in turn turn it into "I'm really glad that this isn't something more serious" "I am really thankful for the people that I have in my life" "I so stoked to be able to go out on this awesome jog and take in the fall weather"

      Where I am now

      I am currently still seeking out treatment here in Canada (It's taken 5 months but I will FINALLY be able to have my Hyperacusis evaluated in the next week or so). But for me its the H and NOT the T that I'm really having issues with. Once I find out where I stand in regards to my H (and seek appropriate therapy), then I feel I will be able to get out in the world again, with the goal of returning back to school in Fall 2015 and finish my diploma! :)

      Do I still have some grumpy days? Yes of course - But I'm working at it. But I have WAY MORE "good ear days" then "bad ear days" (Mine are more due to the fact that I'm a bit grounded right now and don't have my car). I have also made a lot of progress. I sleep every night with no masking and haven't used any sleep aids in 2 months.

      I would say that if you're having issues with guilt, frustration or anger then it may be worth it to talk with a councillor (especially if it's one that knows how to talk with people who have T). Maybe also look into Cognitive Behaviour training as well. Do you have any one that your able to talk with right now regarding your T? (like family or friends)

      I just want to reenforce that I was where you were before (not sleeping/eating, lost weight, nervous/guilt ridden wreck, thoughts of suicide), but am much better a couple months later. While I am not there yet (and still have some ways to go), time really does help heal.

      I hope this helped a bit.

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    4. Dr. Charlie

      Dr. Charlie Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      You are absolutely correct to be afraid to take SSRIs. I am not an expert on treating depression, but I have done considerable reading about SSRIs. Please do your own research before taking any of them. One well-known side effect of SSRIs is what is called "suicidal ideation." This means that the medication itself generates thoughts of committing suicide. The medication then appears to remove one's natural inhibition that might keep you from actually carrying through with the act. There have been numerous suicides reported, with many lawsuits filed against drug manufacturers. The majority have been quietly settled out of court, with strict non-disclosure agreements signed. I don't like to imagine how many suicides caused by taking SSRIs have never been recognized or reported. I suspect that this may have been the case with Robin Williams. This is a far more common problem in young adults, but can occur at any age. Use great caution when considering any anti-depressant medications. Make sure you and your medications are carefully monitored by a mental-health specialist. With any thoughts of suicide, seek help immediately.

      For more information, visit:


      There are far better ways available to remove your fear and your depression. (Also, have you heard that depression is repressed anger? Anger turned inside toward yourself?)

      Bless you,

      Dr Charlie
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    5. LadyDi

      LadyDi Member Benefactor

      Florida, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      I don't want to hijack this thread (and managers, feel free to move this post to another spot).

      But I was interested in @Dr. Charlie's response above, re. SSRIs and wanted to ask him:
      Dr. Charlie, I developed extreme anxiety and panic shortly after my tinnitus onset. For some reason, I never have had the depression that often goes with anxiety. But I did require medication (under the supervision of a psychiatrist) for the panic/anxiety, alprazolam (Xanax) to be exact. After months of CBT and using meditative breathing, I now usually can calm myself most days without meds and take alprazolam only as needed. But I still seem to suffer from night-time anxiety, and often need a small dose at bedtime (.25 mg).

      So: Given you have strong feelings about SSRIs, what are your thoughts on benzodiazepines and/or anxiety meds? This topic often is hotly debated here.

      Thanks in advance.
    6. Magpie

      Magpie Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      MattMSP wrote:
      In Summary, how have you been able to "forgive" yourself?

      If you mean for getting tinnitus! Why would I for something that was beyond my control. Does somebody forgive themselves for getting cancer. I don't understand your question.

      Dr Charlie wrote:
      There are far better ways available to remove your fear and your depression. (Also, have you heard that depression is repressed anger? Anger turned inside toward yourself?)

      That's a new one on me and since I went though a period of severe depression and still have the occasional visit from the black dog I know exactly what triggers my depression. I also know what triggers depression in other people I know and have known and repressed anger has never been the cause. Depression has almost always been a consequence of events and experiences that have happened in peoples lives. Call it sadness, loneliness, grieving or whatever but never anger even towards ones self. Sure as a consequence of depression one can inflict pain on themselves which is something I did before I attempted suicide. Fortunately I managed to crawl out of that wretched hole but the black dog is still lurking and again it has nothing to do with repressed anger.
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    7. Dr. Charlie

      Dr. Charlie Member

      Tinnitus Since:
    8. Dr. Charlie

      Dr. Charlie Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Magpie: I have no way of knowing what you have experienced - I simply asked if you had heard that statement. I have found it to be true in my own life.

      Gary Craig provides an excellent explanation of what causes our negative emotions. He also explains that anger, sadness, grieving, frustration, guilt, shame, remorse, ALL represent a fear of something. There is much crossover in our subconscious.

      May you be well,

      Dr Charlie
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    9. I who love music

      I who love music Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      mid seventies
      In my opinion, you're halfway there. I noticed you describe your T, and more importantly, how you feel about it.
      Now, stop describing your T and keep on describing how you feel about it.
      It's that simple. I learned this technique here on the forum.
      If I notice my T, I avoid describing or measuring it. Instead, I only measure my feelings toward it. At first, I'd say to myself, "There it is again. I hate it. As much as I hated it last time." Nowadays, maybe only once or twice a week I'll say to myself, "Yup. Who cares? Not me." And it's gone most of the time. It's a great feeling. I haven't felt so relaxed in years. I got T in the mid 70's.
    10. jazz
      No Mood

      jazz Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      eardrum rupture from virus; barotrauma from ETD
      @I who love music How long did this take you before you stopped noticing your tinnitus?
    11. I who love music

      I who love music Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      mid seventies
      It only took a few weeks. I remember one day I felt a strange feeling - it was relaxation. I hadn't felt relaxed in a long time. And a little happier thinking the technique was working.
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